Ta­pas on the Bay

Tropical Traveller Magazine - - RESTAURANTREVIEWS -

Ta­pas are snacks, canapés or fin­ger food that orig­i­nated in Spain. They come in many dif­fer­ent forms and can vary from town to town! But, what ex­actly are they? Well, some say that in the 13th cen­tury King Al­fonso X of Castile, also known as “the Wise One,” made sure that Castil­ian tav­erns served wine ac­com­pa­nied by some­thing to eat, so that the wine would not go straight to the clients' heads. Oth­ers claim that while on a long trip, King Al­fonso stopped to rest in a town in the south­ern prov­ince of Cádiz, and he or­dered a glass of jerez or sherry. There was a gusty wind, so the innkeeper cov­ered his glass with a slice of ham to pre­vent the sherry from get­ting dirty. King Al­fonso ap­par­ently liked it, and when he asked for a sec­ond glass, he re­quested another tapa or “cover” just like the first.

What­ever the true ori­gin of ta­pas, the world’s favourite “lit­tle bites” can be found in Saint Lu­cia th­ese days, on a breezy water­front deck on the la­goon at Rod­ney Bay, right next door to the world-class Big Chef Steak­house, which is the “sis­ter” restau­rant of Ta­pas on the Bay.

The ta­pas line-up in­cludes tra­di­tional favourites like Chorizo in Red Wine, Tor­tilla with Potato & Onion and Patatas Bravas but Chef Olivier Hil­ton also brings a cre­ative twist to the menu with Lu­cian-style ta­pas and sea­sonal spe­cials which in­cor­po­rate is­land-flavours and sur­pris­ing treats. Own­ers Rosie and Marc Joinville brought their vi­sion of “lit­tle dishes from around the world” to the Rod­ney Bay din­ing scene in 2012, and along with Chef Olivier, they’ve kept the menu au­then­tic at its core but added uniquely Caribbean sur­prises so ‘ba­s­tonetes’ of fresh fish and cala­mari rings are dipped in a crispy Pi­ton beer bat­ter, salt cod frit­ters are a ver­sion of the lo­cal ac­cras and even jerk chicken wings make a wel­come ap­pear­ance ev­ery now and then.

The beauty of Ta­pas on the Bay is that there re­ally is some­thing on the menu for ev­ery­one, from afi­ciona­dos and lovers of the Span­ish orig­i­nal to new­bies and the ad­ven­tur­ous who want to try a unique rein­ven­tion of the clas­sic. Tra­di­tional paella is cooked to or­der, full of seafood, chicken wings and pork ribs, served in a minia­ture paellera, and there is also a good se­lec­tion of en­trees for those who pre­fer a tra­di­tional meal over ta­pas. TT favourites are the Goats Cheese and Caramelised Onion Flat­bread–ab­so­lutely divine as a shared starter or for nib­bling with a pitcher of san­gria; the Roasted Beets are per­fect with their blue cheese dress­ing and the enor­mous Nicoise Salad with sashimi grade tuna coated in sesame seeds is an an­gelic but wickedly good main course.

Ta­pas on the Bay also has fresh home-baked bread, just right for dip­ping into the sauces and dress­ings (and wip­ing the lit­tle dishes clean!). The winelist has very good Span­ish reds, whites and sher­ries, with a black­board of spe­cials and bin-ends, while the cock­tail menu is just the job for a few sun­down­ers ac­com­pa­nied by some mar­i­nated olives or tasty ham cro­quettes. Groups and par­ties should try the Pitch­ers & Plat­ters - a range of ta­pas selections to share, washed down with jugs of killer cock­tails like the sig­na­ture San­gria Per­fecta, Rum Zinger and Ginger Mo­jito.

The water­front lo­ca­tion is tucked away from the main road, but right in the heart of the Rod­ney Bay Vil­lage, just a few seconds walk from the shop­ping malls. Ta­pas on the Bay’s se­cluded gar­den en­trance leads to a won­der­ful breezy deck over­look­ing the bob­bing boats in the la­goon and the con­ve­nient dinghy dock, cov­ered to pro­tect din­ers from the el­e­ments. It’s well worth a visit dur­ing the day too, when the menu is from Lil’ Chef – see News­bites for more.

Lo­cated off Re­duit Drive ad­ja­cent to Big Chef Steak­house. Ta­pas On The Bay is open for Break­fast and Lunch (limited ta­pas) from 8am ev­ery day ex­cept Mon­day: Din­ner is from 5pm ev­ery day ex­cept Sun­day. www.tapa­son­the­bay.com, find us on Face­book and Tripad­vi­sor. Call 485 7189 for more reser­va­tions at Ta­pas on the Bay.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.